First: Free corned beef to any commenter who can successfully identify the classic movie quoted in the headline.
Onto the non-literal meat: The fifth installment of COOK’s Open Stove series, which sets two Philly kitchen up-and-comers on a collision course beset with culinary booby traps, had a bit of theme. Yes, the unwelcome surprises, overall confusion and indecorous liquor consumption that have characterized previous installments were present, but OS Numero Cinco boasted something else entirely: cans. Each of the secret ingredients — competitors are allowed to pre-prepare an amuse bouche and a dessert, with apps and entrées up in the air — came vacuum-sealed, perhaps last thing a professional chef wants to be handed.
How did the personnel fare? Damn well.
The competitors: In the red corner, Ryan Harrison (above, left) a CIA-trained member of the Vendy-winning Smoke Truck team who’s also making headway with Jersey Gina’s Gems, the South Jersey specialty farm whose products are carried at COOK. And in the blue corner: Greg Garbacz (above, right), sous chef at past COOK visitor Kevin Sbraga‘s hit Sbraga, and, as it goes, the former chef of COOK kingpinette Audrey Claire Taichman‘s Audrey Claire. (Seems GG has a thing for eponymous restaurants, no?)